Mar 1, 2012, 1:45 PM
Post #1 of 3
Hey all! I'm about to finish my bachelor's in mechanical engineering and I pitched the idea of designing some sort of system for leg wing/lower body control for paralyzed jumpers as a project for one of the subjects this semester. Just got a green light from the professor, so brainstorming starts this week. I saw there were some ideas being thrown around in this thread so I know even if there's not too much interest for wingsuit flying among paralyzed skydivers, anything I come up with could be modified for use in regular jumping as well.
The way I see it, I'm aiming for a system that would allow control of a)the bend of the knees b)the leg stance (from wide open to closed) c)the arch It obviously wouldn't give the whole control range of the wingsuit, but it should be enough to fly base on a flocking dive, at least. I'm not quite sure whether turns would be tricky or not. Rolling the whole body might be hard, but small inputs with arms/shoulders could work.
I also think it should have a sort of a neutral position built in that would allow a stable fall for exits and opening. I saw some pictures of Dale Elliott (I believe) experimenting with different leg positions that could be useful for this. Finally, I believe it would be useful to have the option of raising the legs into a semi-seated position after opening or get them up all the way for landing.
I have until May to come up with a 3D model and possibly present some calculations. I'd really appreciate your input and suggestions, and if anyone has the possibility of actually building something or improving their own design based on what I do, they're more than welcome to it.
If you go for the leg retraction, you need to make sure that both sides stop at the same point in the case of a jam. I'd hate to get fixated on jammed kit and not realize that the uneven weight distribution put me into an unnoticed spiral.